After months of preparation and hundreds of hours on training and playing fields, the wait is almost over for the Aussie Spirit.
The Opening Ceremony of the XVI WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship will be held tonight in Chiba, Japan, with the first game to follow soon after.
For the Aussie Spirit, the on-field action begins tomorrow, first with a game against Venezuela at 11am AEST and then a game against China at 4.30pm AEST.
Team captains and coaches from 16 countries and territories across six continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and Oceania) as well as many members of the media gathered at the official media conference on the eve of the opening ceremony.
Australia is one of three countries to be present in every edition of the WSWC. They hosted the first World Championship in Melbourne, 1965, and became the first Women’s Softball World Champions. The green and gold squad has climbed to the podium eight times, including two finals.
WBSC Secretary General Beng Choo Low said: “This is not just any World Championship, it’s the first qualifier to the 2020 Olympic Games.”
The premier global softball tournament in the world is the first of five qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The top finisher in Chiba, not including already qualified/host Japan, will be part of baseball and softball’s historic Olympic return at Tokyo 2020.
The Opening Ceremony of the Women’s Softball World Championship 2018 will be held Thursday at 7:30pm AEST. Following the ceremony, the National Teams of Japan and Italy will play each other in Game 1 at 8:00 p.m. All nations will be in action tomorrow.
The Women’s Softball World Championship will be played across 73 games in 10 days. The final will be held on Sunday, August 12 at 8pm AEST.
All games will be streamed live on the WBSC YouTube channel.
Aussie Spirit World Championship schedule:
Friday 10am (11am AEST): Australia vs Venezuela
Friday 3.30pm (4.30pm AEST): Australia vs China
Saturday 10am (11am AEST): Australia vs Italy
Sunday 2.30pm (3.30pm AEST): Australia vs Canada
Monday 10am: (11am AEST): Australia vs Botswana
Tuesday 6pm (7pm AEST): Australia vs Great Britain
Wednesday 7pm (8pm AEST): Australia vs Japan
Aussie Spirit team:
|Amelia Cudicio (NSW)||Kaia Parnaby (NSW)||Carmelle Sorensen (Qld)||Belinda White (SA)|
|Chelsea Forkin (Qld)||Samantha Poole (NSW)||Tarni Stepto (NSW)||Tamieka Whitefield (Qld)|
|Leigh Godfrey (WA)||Stacey Porter (NSW)||Taylah Tsitsikronis (NSW)|
|Stacey McManus (NSW)||Ellen Roberts (NSW)||Jade Wall (Qld)|
|Kaia Parnaby (NSW)||Justine Smethurst (Qld)||Clare Warwick (ACT)|
|Head Coach||Fabian Barlow|
|Assistant Coach (battery)||Kelly Hardie|
|Assistant Coach (hitting)||Troy Baverstock|
|Specialist Defensive Coach||Kym Tollenaere|
|Performance Enhancement Coordinator||Dee Anderson|
|Team Manager||Lisa Anderson|